Evan Tanner

Former UFC Middleweight Champion Evan Tanner has been found dead in the southern California desert.

MMAJunkie.com has the unfortunate news.

Evan Tanner, a former UFC middleweight champion and one of MMA’s most popular fighters, was found dead in the Palo Verde mountain area of California today.

He was 37 years old.

A friend of Tanner’s told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that authorities have recovered his body. Kyria McBrayer, who also assisted the popular fighter with his “Team Tanner” fan/sponsorship club, said she received the unfortunate news today.

A report surfaced earlier this evening that a body believed to be Tanner was found near a campsite in the Clapp Springs area of the Palo Verde Mountains, however, it was not confirmed at the time that it was in fact Tanner. Apparently, Evan was reported as missing on Friday when texts from friends had gone unanswered since Wednesday.

Tanner spoke about the his trip into the desert in his latest blog entry at Spike.com.

I’ve been gathering my gear for this adventure for over a month, not a long time by most standards, but far too long for my impatient nature. Being a minimalist by nature, wanting to carry only the essentials, and being extremely particular, it has been a little difficult to find just the right equipment. I plan on going so deep into the desert, that any failure of my equipment, could cost me my life. I’ve been doing a great deal of research and study. I want to know all I can about where I’m going, and I want to make sure I have the best equipment.

In a conversation with Cage Potato, Tanner’s manager, John Hayner, said his motorcycle had run out of gas deep in the desert. Tanner had tried to walk back to civilization but was too far away, and eventually died from the triple-digit degree heat.

We offer our deepest condolences to Evan’s friends and family for their loss. Rest in peace, Evan, you will be missed.